Pulau Langkawi : Guide for First Timer

PULAU LANGKAWI - made up of islands, surrounded by torquiose sea, mixture of picturseque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills.

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah (Langkawi Permata Kedah) is an archipelago of 104 islands. Langkawi Island is the largest island and Kuah is the main and largest town in the island. Langkawi is a duty free island.

According to locals, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle. The Malay word for eagle is 'helang' shortened to 'lang', while 'kawi' is a name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. The interpretation was used to create a landmark sculpture of an eagle in Kuah Town.

Some also interpret that Langkawi means 'many beautiful islands', 'langka' being a Sanskrit word meaning 'beautiful' and 'wi' means 'many'.

Climate - Langkawi has a true dry season from December until February, while March to November is a long raining seaso and September is the wettest month. 

When I went to Langkawi, last July 2017 (I know its a late blogpost ) , the weather was 70 % sunny and the rest of 30 % was raining. Usually, the rain begins early in the morning at around six and it'll stop after 2-3 hours. 

Transportation - The Island of Langkawi can be reach by sea and air. The Langkawi Jetty point connects to the city in Malaysia like Penang. Air Asia is the main airline that operates in Malaysia and  to the Langkawi International Airport(LIA). The LIA connects to many islands  like Kuala lumpur, Penang, Subang and Singapore. 

I prefer traveling by air since its the most comfortable, fastest and easiest way to navigate however its the most expensive mode of transportation which will cost you around 70 - 80 MYR from Kuala Lumpur. 

Getting AroundIn Langkawi, you can find many ways to traverse in every tourist destination. Most people have their own private car and motorcycles. There are also taxi cab, but I don't recommend you this kind of transporation, as I mentioned here. You can also rent a car if you can handle to drive on the right side, as well as motorbike for they have a lot of rent a car/motorbike shop in the island. If none of this suits you, you better download the UBER app on you mobile and you're good to go. I used UBER which cost me 10 - 15 MYR depending on how far is the place you want to go.

People - I can't remember a single person I met in Langkawi that treated me rude. They are all friendly and helpful. Even on the dorm that I stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights, they are all amazing. The UBER drivers were courteous. They have helped me on what to do in their island, what are the food that I must taste, given me some thrifty-tips and on how to be safe since I was alone and a female though the area is safe for female-solo travelers - some might take an advantage of me. 

Language - Don't be silly! Just bring your best smile, English is widely spoken and understood by the locals. But their official language is Standard Malay especialy in formal occasions. 

Accomodation - There are various luxurious, mid-range and pocket-friendly pads in the place. Just be careful in booking your shelter for a night/s, if you want to be on beachview - Pantai Cenang is one choice. And if you want in town proper , Kuah is the best place to find your space. 

I stayed at Pantai Cenang area, its touristy and has different of dorm/hostels to choose from. I spent my nights in Melati's VIP Female Dorm. It was comfortable and money-wise choice of accomodation for I spent 80 MYR for 3 days and 2 nights. (click here). 

 Food - Yes! It is a duty free tax island, so you can buy chocolates (local/international) as much as you want. For a local food you can have a 5 MYR combo (with rice and drink ) with one meal. Since I had a free breakfast at the dorm, I will just spend a 10 MYR for my lunch and dinner. Beer! I am not a drunkcard and never bought a single bottle, but according to the menu prices that I have seen, the price range for about 15 - 20 MYR depending on the size and brand of the liquior. 

Things to do and see - Typically, it will cost you at around 500 - 900 MYR to explore the island depending on what are the places you want to see and activities you want to do. 

1. Island/Beach Hopping - If you go into a island and beach hopping, of course depending on the mode of hopping. Its either by boat or by jetski. Jetski is the most expensive way of hopping islands and beaches, expect to pay for about 700 - 900 MYR. While boat is the cheapest and more convinient which will only cost you 90 MYR for 3 island tour. 

2. Cable Car and Skybridge - is one of the famous attraction in Langkawi. Expect to pay 75 MYR for an adult with 3D Museum. The Langkawi Panorama was breath-taking. Im just wondering how'd they put all the cables?

3. Kilim River (Geoforest Park) - one of the best natural beauty spot in Langkawi. It is also one of the touristy place in the island. 

4. Underwater World - This is great for families with kids. The resemblance of Ocean Park.

5. Shopping - As I mentioned earlier, the island is a duty free tax. So goods here are not as expensive as you expect it. There are malls around Cenang beach and at Kuah town. 

Other popular destinations are the Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand. Boat tours are organised to Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave). For more information, please visit the official Langkawi website. Click here.

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